Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases

By Peter Mark Roget

This book "supplies a vocabulary of English words and idiomatic phrases 'arranged … according to the ideas which they express'. The thesaurus, continually expanded and updated, has always remained in print, but this reissued first edition shows the impressive breadth of Roget's own knowledge and interests."


New from Brill!

ad

The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek

By Franco Montanari

Coming soon: The Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek by Franco Montanari is the most comprehensive dictionary for Ancient Greek to English for the 21st Century. Order your copy now!


Query Details


Query Subject:   Idiom formation via transliteration
Author:   Israel Cohen
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Linguistic Theories

Query:   A Google Scholar search retrieved 2 journal articles about the transliteration of Buddhist Sanskrit words/phrases to Chinese idioms:

http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-KDSK200501027.htm

and

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/jbp/bab/2003/00000049/00000004/art00003

My query is: Has anyone else researched or discussed the formation of idioms via transliteration into languages other than Chinese?

I have found these patterns of (English) idiom formation. In essence they involve the transformation of a (usually) foreign homophone into a native homograph.

L1, transliterated > L1 pun, translated > L2...Ln idioms
Job 19:20 BQoSHi (barely) > B3or SHinai >by skin of my teeth

L1, transliterated > L2 idiom [, translated > L3...Ln idioms]
Latin recollectare > Fr cloche/Ger Glock > ring a bell?
Penn Dutch acht(ung) Grund(be aware+reason)>US axe to grind
cf German Beweggrund (motive)
Latin sopor quies > Heb SPoR KeVeS > count sheep! (re sleep)
> modern Hebrew LiSPoR KVaSiM to count sheep (plural)

L1 & transliterated L1, transliterated & translated > L2 idiom
Heb/Yiddish BRaKHa (blessing) + BeReKH (leg) > Break a leg!
cf HatSLakha(success)+BeReKH+BRaKHa >Ger Hals und Beinbruch!

L2 word/phrase, transliterated > L1, translated > L2 idiom
secret > Heb miSGeReT (framework, skeleton) + SoGeR (close)
> skeleton in the closet

The second column of Origen's Hexapla
http://jts.oxfordjournals.org/content/XXI/1/17.extract
is the Old Testament in the Hebrew language written with Greek letters. This may have facilitated the formation of Greek idioms whose meaning is that of the Hebrew source. Cf the etymology of ''idiom'' from Greek idioma ''peculiarity, peculiar phraseology,'' from idioumai ''to appropriate to oneself.''
LL Issue: 25.2814
Date posted: 05-Jul-2014



Back

Sums main page